Lila Gleitman’s influence in cognitive science, and in particular on research in language acquisition, is immense. Thanks to her creative, innovative mind, she was behind more than her fair share of game-changing ideas – from the promotion of “Motherese”, now called Child/Infant Directed Speech (showing us that we must pay attention to the child’s actual input), through syntactic bootstrapping and The Great Verb Game (convincing all of us that children or adults cannot derive the meaning of verbs without paying attention to syntactic structure), to the origin of concepts (convincing some of us, albeit not yet all, that infants come to the language learning task with some in-built conceptual biases).
She has always challenged us to think differently. We will very much miss her and give our condolences to her family.
Prof. Dr. Caroline Rowland,
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen
Obituary by the Linguistic Society of America
Obituary by Claire Gleitman on Language Log
We also highly recommend her autobiographical paper in the 2019 Annual Review of Linguistics.